Request maternity care in advance if you are about 3 months pregnant. What does the maternity nurse do, how is the number of hours determined and what does the insurance reimburse?

What does a maternity nurse do?

When you have given birth, you need time to recover from the pregnancy and delivery. You and your partner also need to get used to the new situation. That is why brand new parents are entitled to maternity care.

The main duties of the maternity nurse are:

  • Taking care of mother and child. She takes a temperature, checks stitches and the amount of blood loss. 
  • She takes care of good hygiene.

A maternity nurse also relieves the burden in general and helps you on your way:

  • She explains how to change a diaper , how to bathe and dress your baby , and advise on breastfeeding or bottle feeding .
  • She offers a listening ear.
  • She observes your baby, you and the family and identifies any problems.
  • She also does some household chores, such as vacuuming and washing your and your baby’s laundry. But a maternity nurse is not a domestic help. She doesn’t have to wipe the windows or clean kitchen cupboards.

How do you choose a maternity care institution?

You must apply for maternity care after the birth yourself. Preferably do this when you are about 3 months pregnant, but in any case, before you are 20 weeks pregnant. 

Tips when choosing a maternity care institution:

  • Choose a maternity care institution in the region. The maternity nurse can then be on site quickly if there are complications during the maternity period.
  • Ask about experiences of friends, family and colleagues.
  • Ask about the institution’s policy. Will you get 1 permanent maternity nurse for the entire period, or will you get 3 different maternity nurses?
  • If you are religious, the identity of the institution can play a role. For example, there are also Christian and Islamic maternity care institutions.
  • Does the organization have a specialization such as breastfeeding counseling, multiple birth care or are you looking for extra physical or mental support?

How many hours of maternity care do you receive?

How many hours or days you are allocated differs per situation. When you are about 7 months pregnant, you will have an intake interview with someone from the maternity care institution. This can be at your home, but also by telephone. After that, you will be allocated a provisional number of hours. On the first day that the maternity nurse is there, the number of hours of maternity care you need will be checked again. This will be assessed again halfway through the maternity period.

The standard is 49 hours of maternity care for breastfeeding and 45 hours for formula. Legally speaking, you are entitled to a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 80 hours of maternity care, spread over a maximum of 10 days. Various factors play a role in this. For example, hours are deducted if you stay in hospital with your baby during the maternity period, such as after a cesarean section. You get 6 hours less maternity care for every day in the hospital. Furthermore, the number of hours allocated depends on the health of you and your baby, the family situation, and whether there are complications with you and/or your child, which require extra guidance.

What if it doesn’t click with the maternity nurse?

Do you not feel comfortable with the maternity nurse? Then tell her what you would like to see differently. If that does not help, ask the maternity care institution for another maternity nurse.

What does maternity care cost?

Maternity care is reimbursed from the basic health insurance package. However, a personal contribution of $7.54 (2021) per hour applies. This personal contribution is (partially) reimbursed by various supplementary insurance policies.

If you are pregnant, check your (supplementary) health insurance :

  • To what extent is the personal contribution for maternity care reimbursed ?
  • Do you have an in-kind or refund policy? With a reimbursement policy you have a free choice of care. In a kind policy may prevent the insurer reimburses less cost as having no contract with the (maternity) care facility.
  • Is the maternity package included? It contains items you need for a home birth and all kinds of items for the maternity period.
  • To what extent is (pelvic) physiotherapy reimbursed? From the basic insurance, physiotherapy is only reimbursed in the case of a chronic condition, from the 21st treatment. In the case of urinary incontinence, you will be reimbursed for the first 9 treatments of (pelvic) physiotherapy. You must take out additional insurance for further reimbursements for physiotherapy.
  • Is the personal contribution for a birth that is not medically necessary in a hospital or maternity hotel reimbursed? With basic insurance you will receive a reimbursement of $368 (2021). The rest is at your own expense.

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